Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life” as Want to Read:
When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  157 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This, the first book ever to say that mother is not always a girl's best friend, is based on a landmark study of the mother-daughter relationships. Secunda offers breakthrough advice on understanding, andimproving, what could be a woman's most critical relationship.
ebook, 432 pages
Published November 4th 2009 by Delta (first published 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 502)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Brigit Zelenak
I bought this for obvious reasons. Being estranged from your mother can be a lonely, isolating thing. After all, how many people do you know who aren't close to their mother? Not in a "Grrr, she drives me crazy... let the answering machine pick up & I'll deal with her later" kind of way, but in a "I haven't spoken to my mother in years and it's better that way" way?

Personally I don't know of anyone other than, well, me. And in that sense this book is a tremendous help. Reading the first-hand
Sep 20, 2013 Acquafortis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever had problems with their mother or simply need to understand mother-daughter dynamics. This interplay does not only effect the direct protagonists but it also has a profound effect on our choice of friends, partners and work. Understanding this relationship means starting the road to real maturity.
I myself being a person who is in therapy because of a dominating mother, found this book helpful. Reading about other women having problems with thei
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. My sister gave me the book and it was a great read. I loved how Secunda described the various types of daughters, from the Angels to the Troublemakers; as well as the various types of mothers, from the Smothers to the Avengers. Secunda shows how each type of mother and daughter operates in the home, at work, in friendships and love relationships. While I disagreed with some of Secunda's assertions, overall I loved how she clearly provides information fo ...more
After reading a few books that skim over real mother-daughter issues, it was a breath of fresh air to read one that felt as if the author knew me. This was probably because mothers & daughters have had stressed relationships since the beginning of time, and my experience is nothing new in relation to the bigger picture.

It felt good to know that what I went through isn't normal, that I shouldn't feel guilty for something that has been a generational problem, and that protecting my mental/psy
Apr 22, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a great read for anyone struggling with their Mother. This book rang true for me in many areas, especially the parenting styles, and offered insight into my Mother's ongoing emotionally abusive behavior and controlling nature: and particularly those generational mistakes which I do not want to repeat with my own young daughter. I would recommend this book for anyone who has suffered greatly at the hands of their own Mother or just wants some insight in how to deal with a complicated M ...more
Feb 12, 2016 artu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neverovatno je da je autorica dala oglas da bi volela razgovarati sa osobama koje nisu u dobrim odnosima sa svojim majkama ili cerkama i proputovala pola Amerike da bi intervjuisala sve one koje su se javile na oglas, a sve zarad studije koju je radila na tu temu i tako je nastala ova knjiga.

Veoma poucna i informativna studija o svim aspektima odnosa majki i cerki i njihov uticaj na zivot i licnost obeju, a i najblizih oko njih. Prvenstveno je namenjena osobama koje imaju 'nerazresenih racuna' i
As always with this type of book, I think there is too much of putting people into little "boxes."

I also thought there were too many examples that didn't really fit the labels.

I did enjoy the chapters called "The Doormat" and "Truce". They were helpful.

page 82: Anita describes her Doormat mother this way: My mother is so sensitive, the smallest criticism reduces her to tears. So everything with her is sweetness and light. Any problems I ever had with her, if I tried to talk about them, she'd jus
I read about 1/2 of this book before my mother died. It rang true in so many areas of my life. After my mom died, it was interesting to note that the things I had highlighted and found so relevant at the time didn't seem to matter to me anymore. I would recommend this book to anyone that struggled with a challenging mother/child relationship as it often felt like the author had been skulking outside my house watching me grow up.
Eva M.
Mar 04, 2015 Eva M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purchased and read this book in 1990 when it was first published. Just returned to skim the areas I highlighted way back then, and found some new insights, in addition to reaffirming the author's clear-headed truths. This is a difficult but important book for any woman who has a challenging (or unresolved) adult relationship with her mother. Absolutely recommend.
Jessica D Kaufman
Jan 04, 2016 Jessica D Kaufman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So so

This is very typical of today's self help movement. Maybe in another 20 years someone will have something to help me with my relationship with my mother. This didn't at all.
Ilona Peic
Nov 29, 2014 Ilona Peic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book I need in my life!
Feb 11, 2008 Mindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who are looking for advice regarding familial relationships
I have had some problems with my Mom over the last couple of years and this book has brought so many insights into her behavior and what causes the behavior and how to handle it. It has been very helpful. I recommend it to anyone that may be having familial relationship issues. Although the book focuses on the mother/daughter relationship I think it is applicable for just about any familial relationship
I was surprised by how accurate the author's descriptions of the 5 different mothering styles and 5 daughter styles were. I learned a lot about myself, but not so much about how to improve my relationships with my mother or my daughters. Good book, but not much useful advice.
Jenny Duffy
Apr 21, 2012 Jenny Duffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm just about half way through, but so far this book is excellent!
Nov 10, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book offers insight into dealing with a difficult mother.
Mar 19, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology-books
Full of information, insight, and honesty
Jun 13, 2011 Sky is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Read the introduction and it felt clinical
Ashley marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Janet rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2016
Peggy Leung
Peggy Leung marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2016
Maria is currently reading it
Aug 21, 2016
Nelly Faria
Nelly Faria marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2016
Allie Chickie
Allie Chickie marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2016
Heather marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2016
Galina Green
Galina Green marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2016
Deborah marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2016
Psychout marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2016
Khushboo Pawar
Khushboo Pawar marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2016
Kim marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2016
Gail Flowers
Gail Flowers marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mothers Who Can't Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters
  • If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World
  • The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed
  • Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self
  • Bad Childhood--Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood
  • The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life
  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
  • The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life
  • Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships
  • Difficult Mothers: Understanding and Overcoming Their Power
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents
  • Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship
  • My Mother/My Self: The Daughter's Search for Identity
  • What Should We Tell Our Daughters?: The Pleasures and Pressures of Growing Up Female
  • The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps: New Stories
  • Woman's Inhumanity to Woman
  • Zentangle 2: Scrapbooks, Sketchbooks, Journals, AJCs, Cards, Words, Borders

Share This Book

“At the same time, the daughters, in adulthood, must also make the effort to really know their mothers—which many daughters do not—in order to understand what forces shaped those mothers. These daughters need to discover what torment may have unwittingly informed their mothers’ parental choices, and to see their mothers as composites of strengths and weaknesses, rather than as all good or all bad.” 0 likes
More quotes…